CHAMPCAR/CART: Forsythe Racing makes driver change

Buddy Rice to Replace A.J. Allmendinger for Mexico City Wheeling, Illinois -- October 27th, 2006 - Forsythe Championship Racing announced today that Buddy Rice will replace A.J. Allmendinger for the last round of the 2006 Champ Car World...

Buddy Rice to Replace A.J. Allmendinger for Mexico City

Wheeling, Illinois -- October 27th, 2006 - Forsythe Championship Racing announced today that Buddy Rice will replace A.J. Allmendinger for the last round of the 2006 Champ Car World Series in Mexico City, November 10-12th.

Allmendinger joined the Forsythe Team for the Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland on June 18th and won his first career Champ Car Victory. Ever since, Forsythe and Allmendinger enjoyed a great deal of success together; in 9 starts with the Team Allmendinger won 5 races, 1 Pole Position, started on the front row 5 times, and secured 2nd place in the 2006 Champ Car World Series Championship. After the announcement that the young American will compete in a different series next year, it has been agreed that it is in the best interest of both parties to part ways. Forsythe Championship Racing would like to wish A.J. Allmendinger the best of luck and success in his future racing career.

Buddy Rice has also had his share of success in the open-wheel racing world. Rice began his career in Formula 2000 where in 1997 he captured his first victory and won the Valvoline Team USA Scholarship. He moved up to the Champ Car Atlantic Championship where he competed from 1998 to 2000 winning the prestigious Gilles Villeneuve Memorial Award on his rookie year, placing 5th in the overall standings on his sophomore year, and capturing the Championship on his last year in Champ Car's development series. The Arizona native continued climbing the ladder and went on to win the 88th running of the Indianapolis 500 from the pole in 2004. Rice will join the Forsythe Team for the Gran Premio Telmex Presented by Banamex and will drive the #7 INDECK Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone/Lola in his first career Champ Car World Series start.

A.J. Allmendinger
"I would like to thank Jerry Forsythe and the whole Forsythe Team for the opportunity that they gave me. The last few months of my life have been incredible and I've really enjoyed my time with the Team, we had great success and I've made great friends. I am starting a new chapter in my life and I'd like to wish the best of luck to the Team and to Buddy and hope they win in Mexico."

Buddy Rice - #7 INDECK Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone/Lola
"I'm very excited! It was looking like being a very long off season so I can't wait to be back in a car and driving again. Forsythe is one of the top teams out there and there's no better feeling than knowing that you will be in a competitive car that can run up front and win races. This will be like a homecoming for me; I won the Champ Car Atlantic Championship in 2000 and that's where I honed my driving skills, so being back in the Champ Car family is something that I've been looking forward to for a long time. I'm also super excited about going back to road racing; it's going to take some adapting specially since I haven't driven a Champ Car in years and the turbos take some getting used to, but I am confident that we'll be quick right out of the box. I have to thank Jerry Forsythe for giving me this huge opportunity; I'm determined to make the most of it!"

Jerry Forsythe, Team Owner
"We are obviously very sad to see A.J. go; we tried to make things work but couldn't come to an agreement. As a team we now have to focus on the future and we decided that the best course of action for us and for A.J was to go our own ways immediately. A.J. is a great driver and I know that he will have great success in the future. Our main goal is to win the 2007 championship and that's what we will concentrate on from now on. Buddy has shown great potential throughout his career and he deserves a shot at Champ Car. We must explore our options as we prepare for next year and what better way to give Buddy an audition than by racing for us in Mexico."

-credit: fcr

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Series INDYCAR